Belinda "B" Phivilay
Media; Visual Arts; Visual Arts: Illustration; Visual Arts: Mixed Media; Visual Arts: Photography; Visual Arts: Printmaking
I’ve struggled with mental health disorders for a very long time. I was excited to release a similar project to face(s) of PVD early 2017. But I was forced to quit because my mental health was rapidly deteriorating. It was at no fault of my own but because I was numerously misdiagnosed. My openness to talk about my vulnerabilities have made me realize that we need to start speaking out about mental health and its stigmas. Because those who are ostracized are the ones who are genuinely suffering. These folks who have participated in my project are the backbone to this project and are the reason why I get up every day to do this work. What they see in me is what I see in every person of color.
Face(s) of PVD was cultivated on February 2, 2018, out of trauma and a noticeable lack of importance. But it’s beautiful ideology is the imprint that I want to see more of in Providence. This experience has taught me many things but most importantly having a community that unconditionally loves you and truly cares about your wellbeing regardless of views or interpersonal drama is crucial. I’m born and raised in Providence and I have yet seen a project that uplifts only people of color at any stake by using social media as a tool to gain network. I recently created profiles for this project on Instagram and Facebook. With this network, one would be able to use it for future projects, fundraising, collaborations, etc. My work has gotten a lot of attention before it was released August 3, 2018, at Paris and Friends. I was given the opportunity to speak about it at the Met Highschool where I’m currently mentoring in photography. I believe that working with youth is so important. They’re our leaders for the future. I think it’s necessary to have them engage in work like mine because it shows that it is possible to do the work that they believe in. It’s my job to help them execute their ideas. But I not only did I teach them how to use a camera but I also taught them life skills, social media/project management skills, and networking skills. With that being said I’m making it my priority to use this project as a platform to bring visibility to the face(s) of PVD. With the purpose to create safe space to acknowledge how much of an asset we all can be to one another regardless of our different experiences. Think of this visibility and platform as a way to cultivate a community or communities that fit the molds that we aspire the world we so desperately wish to exist in.